We were poking fun at the pervasiveness of security measures in Key Largo and had received a karmic retribution: somebody had stolen an iPod from our truck. We must have forgotten to lock the car after lugging our diving gear inside. Unfortunately no-one is interested in cashmere sweaters here as our bags with winter clothes were left intact so not much chance of simplifying the packing. As you may recall we live in a gated community with a guard and security cameras. To me it demonstrates that petty larceny can’t be eliminated and most attempts to do so are a waste of money. Somehow I don’t believe the grand theft and violent crime would be rampant if guards were let go and cameras shut down.
This is actually the second time someone stole something from our car in US. We parked in Boston once and lost a collection of tapes we brought from Poland (yes, it was back in the tapes era). I am starting to think that there must be something about Polish 80s rock that attracts petty criminals. In any case we derive a morbid satisfaction from the fact that the thieves will have to figure out how to reset the iPod using Polish language version of the menus.
Despite our personal experience Key Largo is not as bad as Florida which in turn is worse then national average. Larceny, burglary and assault are slightly more likely but vehicle theft, rape, murder and robbery are way below the level in US. May be it’s the weather - too hot for violence.
The iPod was quite old and used mostly in the car. And we do have a backup. As much as I didn’t mind losing it to somebody desperate enough to steal it I was curious if my loss was grave enough for the police to take action. I filed a report and had a conversation with a very nice deputy sheriff who told me 3 other cars in the condo complex were broken in on the same night. He also told me that the police already has suspects in custody after catching them with a car full of allegedly stolen goods. The sheriff praised me for knowing my iPod serial number as it would let him link the crime to the perpetrators. He shared with me his habit of taking photos and noting serial numbers of all his possessions, especially his guns. I didn’t have heart to tell him I only knew my iPod serial number because it is recorded in iTunes.
Surprisingly the sheriff apologized for the theft, as if it was the police fault. May be it is if the police is responsible for crime prevention. I still think the best way to stop petty larceny would be to do something about the income inequality. Hiring more guards probably won’t spread the wealth around sufficiently.